Sunday, February 5, 2012

Open Content and Ethics

Until this week I was not aware of open content. The idea of open content is really quite interesting and as reported in the Horizon Report K12 (2011),  the ability to tweak material to fit personal needs is a huge step forward for education. I know for myself without exception I use materials that are not exactly what I would like to use in the classroom. I believe if teachers could personalize the material being used the students would benefit. I find the material in a text that is not covered is disruptive to the cognitive process. Also if open content is used in the classroom teachers and students alike would have the most current information at a minimal cost.

Although I like the idea of having the ability to alter someones work, if I were an author I am not sure I would be able to agree with idea. In science for example, if some text is removed then it is possible that the meaning or credibility of the material could be changed. With the meaning being changed and still having my name attached could make it appear as though I was giving false information. Open content for teachers and being able to personalize material can be very effective; however an author could feel any altering of the material could relay incorrect information.

I understand the concept of open content; but as I think of people sharing their creative ideas in whatever area they are interested in I cannot understand why they would want someone else to change it. I know others have great ideas to add or critique work and for that very reason it is good Creative Commons allows authors of creative works to determine the type of creative protection they want to tag to their work.

The use of ebooks is very popular and the Horizon Report (2011), suggests that the next step to go along with the ebooks will be interactive capabilities. As an educator I think interactive possibilities with ebooks would be beneficial to students. I demonstrate dissection to my students through interactive technology and it is effective in giving my students experience of what to expect when they do a hands-on dissection.

I think we have all experienced researching a topic and having to jump through several hoops before being able to access academic material. It is very frustrating and then when you finally find something and do not bookmark it, then trying to get the information back can be just as frustrating as finding it the first time. Karen Coyle reported in the New York Times (March 16, 2010), C-Span the network that reports on the government has released all the videos the general public. Cornell University released restrictions on files held by the university for use not only for students, but also for the general public (May 18, 2009 internetarchives). I do not understand why there are such tight restrictions on accessing academic information and the release of such restrictions would encourage the general public to look for more research based information.

The concept of open content, ebooks for reading and interaction and the ability to tag the work with the creative protection desired is very controversal and in my opinion will fill the courts with undue activity. I do believe the concepts are here to stay and to keep up with technology and current information educators should learn how to manipulate their way through the process.


Coyle, K., (March 16, 2010) New York Times

Creative Commons.

Internetarchives. (May 18, 209)

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Haywood, K., (2011). The NMC Horizon Report:2011 K-12 Edition.
Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon
Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

1 comment:

  1. Theresa,

    I totally agree with you in regards to having to jump through hoops and not wanting someone to have access to your materials in order to delete or alter them.

    I also agree with you about your analysis of open content and the effect it will have on the court system. You are spot on with your views of the need for educators to stay up on the new technology and its uses.

    You did a great job with your synthesis!